The Key To Successful Writing Is ... (Plus Jerry B. Jenkins Book Giveaway)

Bestselling author Jerry B. Jenkins (Left Behind series) says there is one key to successful writing—and there's no way around it.
Author:
Publish date:

Writing is hard work. Don’t agree so quickly. Wait till you’ve been dragged down the bumpy road toward publication a few times. For now, admit that you suspect you’re something special. The exceptional exception.

For you, writing will be a breeze. Editors will clamor for your work. You foresee a bidding war over your next book, with your bank account the big winner. Is that Reader’s Digest on the phone?

Not so fast.

*****************************************************************************************************************************

Guest column by Jerry B. Jenkins who is the author of more than 180 books with sales of more than 70 million copies, including the best-selling Left Behind series. Jerry’s writing has appeared in Time, Reader’s Digest, Parade, Guideposts, and dozens of Christian periodicals. Twenty of his books have reached The New York Times best-seller list (seven debuting number one). He owns the Christian Writers Guild (www.christianwritersguild.com) and Jenkins Entertainment, a filmmaking company. He is also a contributing editor to Writer’s Digest.

The+Breakthrough
HiResJJenkins-145b


GIVEAWAY: Jerry is excited to give away a free autographed copy of his new novel, The Breakthrough (A Precinct 11 Novel), to a random commenter. Comment within two weeks; winner must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before.

*****************************************************************************************************************************

I was talking with an editor friend, a veteran of many writers conferences, who has seen all levels of competency. “It’s rare that you find a first-timer who really gets it,” she said. Writing is not a hobby, a spare-time activity, or something to play at. It’s work.

For me, writing is as exhausting as physical labor. After writing and publishing more than 180 books, that still surprises me.

Sometimes, on deadline, I’ll sit at the keyboard for six, eight, ten hours or more. When I’m finished, I’m as spent as if I’ve been ditch-digging all day. I don’t understand it. Writing doesn’t seem physically taxing, but it is. I guess it’s a fact that you must be constantly thinking in order to write.

Creativity will cost you, wear you out.

Don’t ever get the idea writing is easy. If it is, you’re not working hard enough. The stuff that comes easy takes the most rewriting. And stuff that comes hard reads the easiest.

A psychologist friend once asked if I would have lunch with him and give him a few tips. “I’m thinking about doing a little freelance writing in my spare time,” he said.

“Interesting,” I said. “I’ve been thinking about doing a little psychological counseling in my spare time.”

“I didn’t know you were trained for that.”

“Gotcha,” I said.

When you hang out your shingle as a writer, be prepared for unintended slights like that.

People tell me all the time that they have a book in them, if they only had time to write.

That would be like my saying I have a sermon in me, if only I had time to prepare it. Pulpit work is something a person is trained and set apart for.

If people want to tell themselves they could be the one-in-a-thousand writer who could sell a manuscript to a book publisher, if they could only find the time, fine. They’ll learn the truth when they sit before the blank computer screen.

So don’t be one of those who just talks about it or plays at it. Work at it.

Get more advice from Jerry B. Jenkins
& other bestselling authors by picking up your copy of
The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing, 2nd Edition
.

Z7446

************

wd-Brian-web-19.jpg

Follow me on Twitter: @BrianKlems
Enjoy funny parenting blogs? Then you’ll love: The Life Of Dad
Sign up for my free weekly eNewsletter: WD Newsletter

Authors Share Tips on Writing Mystery and Thriller Novels That Readers Love

23 Authors Share Tips on Writing Mystery and Thriller Novels That Readers Love

23 authors share tips on writing mystery and thriller novels that readers love, covering topics related to building suspense, inserting humor, crafting incredible villains, and figuring out the time of death.

Jaclyn Goldis: From Personal History to Historical Fiction

Jaclyn Goldis: From Personal History to Historical Fiction

Debut author Jaclyn Goldis explains how her novel When We Were Young was inspired by her real-life grandmothers and how many times she rewrote her first chapter.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Forced Decision

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Forced Decision

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, force a character to make a decision.

Flash Fiction Challenge

2021 February Flash Fiction Challenge: Day 25

Write a piece of flash fiction each day of February with the February Flash Fiction Challenge, led by editor Moriah Richard. Each day, receive a prompt, example story, and write your own. Today's prompt is to write about a cryptid.

From the Practical to the Mystic: 7 Tips for Writing Historical Fiction

From the Practical to the Mystic: 7 Tips for Writing Historical Fiction

Bestselling author Erika Robuck provides her top 7 tips for creating an engaging historical fiction novel.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 559

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a short poem.

Flash Fiction Challenge

2021 February Flash Fiction Challenge: Day 24

Write a piece of flash fiction each day of February with the February Flash Fiction Challenge, led by editor Moriah Richard. Each day, receive a prompt, example story, and write your own. Today's prompt is to create a new myth.

Richard_2:23

Crafting Animal Characters like an Expert

Whether your work-in-progress features a witch's familiar, a talking animal sidekick, or a companion pet, WD editor Moriah Richard gives you the basics on how to create an animal character.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti quotes | Time wears down the pencil

8 Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes for Writers and About Writing

Here are 8 Lawrence Ferlinghetti quotes for writers and about writing from the author of A Coney Island of the Mind, Poetry as Insurgent Art, and Pictures of the Gone World. In these quotes, Ferlinghetti covers time, craft, passion, and more.